9 – 12 Lesson
Lent is past and Easter has arrived. We now have seven Sundays until Pentecost. The second feast celebrated in the early church.
Isn’t it interesting that the Ascension does not merit its own seasonal break – we don’t change liturgical colors or service themes.
During Eastertide we celebrate the ways in which the Kingdom of God is breaking into our world. We look for ways that God is overwhelming the rules of the prince of this world – selfishness, fear, greed, racism, injustice, hopelessness, poverty- and putting in place the blessings of His kingdom – love, justice, mercy, reconciliation, generosity. Where Lent is inwardly focused on rooting out and replacing the qualities of sinfulness in ourselves, Eastertide is outward focused on celebrating the changes that the Kingdom brings to our communities.
There is an inkling of sadness and overwhelmingness that is found during the celebration. When one begins to look, one doesn’t see a new heaven and a new earth transformed into the Kingdom of God in the midst of this present world. We only see hints and glimmers and a call to continue transforming others as we ourselves are transformed.
That leads us to Pentecost and the need for the Holy Spirit’s aid and guidance as we walk the Kingdom of God out to our communities.
We begin today with Jesus being taken to the High Priest’s House. Peter, unlike the other disciples, has followed and is pretending to be a servant of one of the other religious leaders.
Narrator: Peter was sitting in the courtyard with some servants. One of the servant girls came up to him.
Servant Girl: You were with Jesus the Galilean, weren’t you?
Narrator: And just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it before everyone.
Peter: Not me! I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Narrator: He went out to stand by the gate. And as he walked past, another servant girl recognized him.
Another Servant Girl (speaking to those standing around): That man over there—he was here with Jesus the Nazarene!
Narrator: Again, just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it, swearing an oath.
Peter: I don’t know Him!
Other Servants: Look, we know that you must be one of Jesus’ followers. You speak like you are from the same area as His followers. You’ve got that tell-tale Galilean accent.
Peter: I do not know Him!
Narrator: As the exclamation left his mouth, a cock crowed. And Peter remembered. He remembered that Jesus had looked at him with something like pity and said, “This very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.” And Peter went outside, sat down on the ground, and wept.
I wonder if Peter was scared to be at Caiaphas’ house?
I wonder if Peter and Jesus ever talked about it?
I wonder if there is a time you lied because you were scared?
1. Maundy is a real word that some countries use in their daily life. When that happens, the church day is called Holy Thursday.
2. Maundy comes from the Latin – Mandatum. Mandatum means covenant and is derived from this phrase: “Mandatum novum do obis ut diligatis invicem sicut dildxi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”
3. We are discussing the Eucharist today. This is the gift of Jesus to the Church, and it is a holy thing about which we are learning. The narration starts out right into the meat of betrayal and moves on from there. One of my personal questions was what tone of voice does Jesus use when he answers Judas’ question.
Jesus: I tell you this: one of you here will betray Me.
Narrator: The disciples, of course, were horrified.
A Disciple: Not me!
Another Disciple: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: It’s the one who shared this dish of food with Me. That is the one who will betray Me. Just as our sacred Scripture has taught, the Son of Man is on His way. But there will be nothing but misery for he who hands Him over. That man will wish he had never been born.
Narrator: At that, Judas, who was indeed planning to betray Him, said,
Judas Iscariot: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: I believe you’ve just answered your own question.
Jesus: Take this and eat; it is My body.
Narrator: And then He took the cup of wine, He made a blessing over it, and He passed it around the table.
Jesus: Take this and drink, all of you: this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I am with you once more, drinking in the kingdom of My Father.
Narrator: The meal concluded. Together, all the men sang a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and then they took a late evening walk to the Mount of Olives.
I wonder if you recognize some of the things Jesus says?
I wonder why it was so important for Jesus to give the gift of bread and wine to his disciples?
I wonder what happens next?
Narrator: Before the Passover festival began, Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people. Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal.
Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God, stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments.
He then wrapped Himself in a towel, poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.
Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?
Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.
Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!
Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.
Peter: Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.
Jesus: Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.
Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am.
So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. I am your example; keep doing what I do. I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness. I am not speaking about all of you.
I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am. I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.
Jesus: I tell you the truth: one of you will betray Me.
I wonder what made Peter so reluctant to let Jesus wash his feet?
I wonder why Jesus allowed the betrayer to come to dinner and even washed his feet?
I wonder why it took the disciples so long to understand that one of them would betray Jesus?
Calling all LEGO fans! In our quest to help children ground their faith in an historical context, today we look at the city of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. This work is a precise work and requires concentration. It is also an extremely fun work. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori approach to learning about Jesus, has created a way for children to recognize the historic placement of Jesus during the gift of the Eucharist and Triennium.
I’ve created an underlay map of the city of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus for you to print out and tape together*. Map of Jerusalem
Gather LEGOs, blocks, or cardboard and start building the city walls, the temple, and the places where Jesus frequented (or to which he was drug).
1. There are lots and lots of gates in the city of Jerusalem – we don’t depict even half of them. I just chose the main ones.
2. During the time of Herod the Great he also built walls that doubled the city size and they extended wide around Golgotha and the tomb. Another set was being built to the south of the tomb. The first set encompassed a large market area with many businesses.
3. The city was divided into the upper and lower cities due to geography. There is a rock escarpment that divides the two. The lower city held poorer residents and the upper city contained very wealthy residents.
4. The water gate is called this because a spring can be found just outside of it.
5. It is about 1/3 of a mile from the Praetorium to Golgotha. (Walk or bike that distance.)
6. An aqueduct carried water under Jerusalem.
7. People lived in the walls. Herod the Great actually built a huge palace into the walls and the Roman Antonia Fortress (Pilate’s home) is as well.
*Open the PDF document and choose print. Look for the words “page scaling” and change that to say “tile large pages” or “tile all pages.” Four pieces of paper should print out. Trim the edges and tape together.
Narrator: Jesus spent Monday and Tuesday at the Temple healing people and teaching about how the religious leaders were not behaving how God wanted them to behave. The religious leaders got angrier and angrier at Jesus. At some point on Wednesday Jesus and the disciples left the Temple and Jesus went to teach them about what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. We pick up the story towards the end of Wednesday.
Narrator: And so this is what happened, finally. Jesus finished all His teaching, and He said to His disciples,
Jesus: The feast of Passover begins in two days. That is when the Son of Man is handed over to be crucified.
Narrator: And almost as He spoke, the chief priests were getting together with the elders at the home of the high priest, Caiaphas. They schemed and mused about how they could trick Jesus, sneak around and capture Him, and then kill Him.
Chief Priests: We shouldn’t try to catch Him at the great public festival. The people would riot if they knew what we were doing.
Narrator: Meanwhile Jesus was at Bethany staying at the home of Simon the leper. While He was at Simon’s house, a woman came to see Him. She had an alabaster flask of very valuable ointment with her, and as Jesus reclined at the table, she poured the ointment on His head. The disciples, seeing this scene, were furious.
Disciples: This is an absolute waste! The woman could have sold that ointment for lots of money, and then she could have given it to the poor.
Narrator: Jesus knew what the disciples were saying among themselves, so He took them to task.
Jesus: Why don’t you leave this woman alone? She has done a good thing. It is good that you are concerned about the poor, but the poor will always be with you—I will not be. In pouring this ointment on My body, she has prepared Me for My burial. I tell you this: the good news of the kingdom of God will be spread all over the world, and wherever the good news travels, people will tell the story of this woman and her good discipleship. And people will remember her.
Judas Iscariot: What will you give me to turn Him over to you?
Narrator: They offered him 30 pieces of silver. And from that moment, he began to watch for a chance to betray Jesus.
I wonder how Simon felt about being able to host a party?
I wonder why Jesus did so much teaching?
I wonder if Jesus’ voice was tired?
I wonder what the disciples forgot?
I wonder what you think of the woman’s gift?
I wonder why this made Judas go to betray Jesus?
I wonder if Judas felt good about his decision?
Narrator: Jesus came to the temple. He drove out all those who were buying and selling. He upended the moneychangers’ tables and the dove-sellers’ benches.
Jesus: It is written, “My house will be a house of prayer for all people,” but you have turned this house of prayer into a den of robbers.
Narrator: Then the blind and the lame came to the temple, and Jesus healed them. Rings of children circled round and sang, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” But the priests and scribes didn’t understand. When they saw the upturned tables, the walking paralytics, and the singing children, they were shocked, indignant, and angry, and they did not understand.
Priests and Scribes: Do you hear what these children are saying?
Jesus: Yes. Haven’t you read your own psalter? “From the mouths and souls of infants and toddlers, the most innocent, You have decreed praises for Yourself.”
Narrator: At that, Jesus left Jerusalem. He went to Bethany, where He spent the night.
I wonder why there weren’t any children at the temple?
I wonder why the blind and the lame came to the temple after Jesus threw out the moneychangers and dove-sellers?
I wonder how the children and the healed people felt with Jesus in the temple?
I wonder how we can be more like the children and the healed people at the temple?